About Last Night…
A few thoughts and observations made after a short night of sleep…
Other than margins of victory, tell me exactly how the political landscape in Rhode Island has changed since yesterday? We still have a Republican Governor and Democrats everywhere else.
The two big things I cared about�the Governor�s race and the Casino�went the way I wanted (and I�ll take what I can get). Carcieri won by a smaller margin than predicted and the Casino went down. Sure, I had hopes for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State, but the Democrat turnout was impressive and just too much to overcome.
But the schizophrenic RI electorate did what it always does, essentially voted straight Democrat ticket and passed almost every Bond issue.
So, tell me again, why is this new?
Anyway, I understand the whole �anti-Bush� wave theory flying around, but you can�t tell me that the pro-Casino folks aggressive GOTV effort in Rhode Island�s urban centers didn�t add to the margins of victory for so many Democrats and shrink the losing margin for Fogarty. Heck, I saw it in my local City Council races (Warwick, by the way, now has an all-Democrat City Council and a Republican Mayor�it really is a microcosm of the state). Most of these City Council races were in the 53-47 for the Democrat range. This is closer than normal�probably some Chafee coattails�but not enough to overcome the Democrat turnout.
GOP Chairwoman Patricia Morgan seems like a nice lady, but I don’t think she�s got much left in the tank.
Meanwhile, Steve Laffey was on Channel 12 and was talking about reforming the RIGOP. A few other pundits mentioned this and, as has been mentioned around here, it really has to be rebuilt from the ground up. You can�t start by running for House of Representatives, folks. Get some City Council seats and Mayor offices first. Hey Mayor Laffey, you volunteering to lead the effort?
Nationally, the American people have had their historically predictable 6th-year-of-a-Presidency temper tantrum and the Democrats took advantage with a message of �Vote for us, we�re not Republicans.� Now let�s see what they do with the power that they have coveted. It has seemed that they wanted power because they wanted power�now it�s time for some ideas, folks. That means deep-thinking, not soundbites.
I do think a lot of the independents did swing to the Dems in a desire to balance against the President and to punish the GOP.
I also think that the GOP did its level best to screw itself with its own party members. The GOP learned that a party based on�among other things–firm ideals of fiscal conservatism can�t pick power (via pork) over principle and expect to stay in good stead with its base. The GOP lost because it strayed from its core ideals.
The result of the turnover in Congress is gridlock in Washington, and my inner (paleo?) conservative couldn�t be happier. Maybe the President will get out his veto pen more often.
As a conservative, I also find it interesting that a lot of the red seats in the House turned blue because of the resurgence of the Blue-Dog Democrat. Former NFL Quarterback Heath Shuler is exhibit A. Apparently, liberal/progressive ideas still don�t win on the national scale, especially in Red America.
Finally, can members of the RI GOP propose a casino in, say, Warwick or Cranston, then lure in Harrah�s or Trump and get some help with the ground game in 2008?